Jackson County, Indiana, History & Picture Archive

Reading: 1886: History of Jackson County, Indiana. Brant and Fuller.

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HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY. 585
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CHAPTER XVIII.

SCHOOLS - EARLY SCHOOLS AND LATE ONES OF EACH TOWNSHIP -
EARLY TEACHERS - FAMILIES AND PATRONS OF SEVERAL DISTRICTS
- THE SCHOOL EXAMINERS - COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS - THE MAN-
AGERS OF THE EARLY SCHOOL FUNDS - THE COUNTY SEMINARY, ETC.

If we could look into the past and view the surroundings as they
appeared seventy-five years ago - know the extreme poverty
of the settlers, and their own lack of education, our surprise would
be that they were able to give their children even a knowledge
of reading and spelling. The teachers of that day were what
we would now consider illiterate and their method irrational
The book was not graded according to the development of the
faculties, and the subject seldom treated in the order of importance
or sequence. With all these disadvantages the schools kept pace
with every other enterprise of a public nature, and, in 1814,
before many of the settlers had comfortable log-huts to live in.
we find Vallonia settlement with its school under the supervision
of Heddy Gooding. This was the first school taught in Jack-
son County. Gooding was a rigid disciplinarian and wielded the
rod with great strength and earnestness, for which he received the
praise of every patron. This was the great test of the teacher's
qualifications, and if he failed in this he was regarded wholly
incompetent. This school was taught in an old log-cabin, which
answered the purpose of a schoolhouse for several years. The
pupils who attended this school were John Carr, James Bur-
cham, Empson Gooding, Josiah Shewmaker (the only one now
living) and Nancy Gilbert. The last named had the distin-
guished honor of being courted by the teacher, much to the mor-
tification of the other belles of the settlement. Acquilla


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